The sun came out as soon as we set foot outside this morning, so Tako and I walked across Brooklyn to meet the besties before their flight. I had been moaning to Max about how I was tired of every single piece of clothing I brought with me on my trip, and she offered to leave a few pieces with me to refresh the rotation.
In my defense, I packed the following:
- 1 floral skirt
- 1 black crop top
- 1 floral button up
- 1 jersey tank dress
- 1 blue jeans
- 1 shorts
- 1 velvet Tshirt dress (the only thing even remotely fancy)
And that’s all, folks. I’ve been wearing those pieces on rotation for over a month. I want to burn the entire collection.
My distaste for all of my clothing got bad enough that I bought a second pair of jeans (black & ripped this time) and a 70s-gymnastics-chic bodysuit when I was in Sioux Falls. (Remember our Target trip? Yeah, I spent money I shouldn’t have spent that day.) So I’ve been wearing those two pieces quite a bit, and they’re already losing their luster.
Max left me with a magenta jumpsuit and a striped top. I’m so excited to wear them that it’s a bit pathetic.
Max doesn’t drink coffee — she’s allergic to a lot of things; culling coffee and gluten are just the surface of her truncated food catalogue — and she’d been having trouble finding a place in either Brooklyn or Manhattan that made an almond (or soy) chai latte. I’ve done some searching online, and I only found a couple of places (Starbucks doesn’t count) that advertise it. Now that I think about it, I actually very rarely found a coffee place that had more than green tea offered, and the tea places I went didn’t usually have any coffee beyond a suspicious carafe (you never know how long those sit out before you order) that I wasn’t going to drink from if you paid me. Well…maybe if you paid me. A lot.
In San Francisco, chai is always available at coffee shops. I can’t remember the last time I went to one that didn’t offer chai drinks. I don’t know if San Franciscans consider it practically a coffee beverage, or if we have a larger chai-drinking population in general. Just an odd difference in the two cities.
Gareth and I both drink coffee, though, so we needed to find a place that had both chai and coffee. So when Max consulted the Googs, it recommended a place called Absolute Coffee, just a few minutes from their hotel.
I got a café au lait, Gareth got an iced latte, and Max got an almond chai. I think we were all pretty happy with our choices.
(not pictured: Tako at our feet)
From there, we had been planning to walk to the water, but Molly and Sean had invited me to Smorgasburg in Prospect Park.* And when Gareth dropped a mention of going to Smorgasburg for lunch, I was like “Hey! My friends are over there!” So we grabbed a Lyft and headed to the park.
Our Lyft driver was awesome. He said as long as Tako stayed on my lap, he had no problem with him in the car. The driver then proceeded to make cute little noises at Tako every few minutes for the entire ride. Eventually, I found out that he has his own dog — a German Shepherd — he refers to as “the princess.”
That’s not her name, mind you. (Her name was…Mishka? I think? He talked really fast.) That’s just how he perceives her personality.
He took us to the entrance closest to Smorgasburg, and I proceeded to take us on the most roundabout route possible through Prospect Park.
We finally made it to the event and met up with Molly and Sean and a few of their friends. I wouldn’t say Smorgasburg is huge, but there were a couple dozen tents with a lot of variety. It really reminds me of a smaller, non-truck-based Off the Grid in San Francisco.
The food was amazing and delicious and so photogenic.
And the company was tons of fun.
There’s that bodysuit I was talking about.
Right after Max and Gareth left to go catch their flight, the skies went from blue with white, fluffy clouds, to menacing gray. And then it started to rain, and every single phone began to beep with the emergency alert message — Sean really was right; so jarring to see everyone go still and quiet at the same time — as we all scrambled to get under trees.
At first, we were convinced that it was a passing thing. After all, the weather report had cleared all likelihood of rain mere hours before. But the rain became heavier and heavier and heavier, until we were standing in the most torrential downpour I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Within minutes, we were soaked, and we (Molly, Sean, and I) decided to start walking back. Because what else can you do? It’s warm rain, so it’s really not that uncomfortable. And once you’re completely soaked…it’s not like you can prevent yourself from getting wetter, right?
So off we went. We actually had a blast walking back. It was the most hilarious thing, forging across pools that formed on the paths through the park, washing the rocks out of our shoes in gushing mini-rivers. I think this was actually the highlight of my day (until later, but I’ll explain soon). The rain didn’t let up until we were about five minutes from the apartment, and we laughed the entire way back.
I put on warm, dry clothes, and then I crashed. I don’t know if Molly & Sean slept, but I went out like a light for about an hour. So did Tako (he’s a nap-mooch like that).
I woke up just in time for a VR session on Sean’s rig.
It’s really weird how your brain reacts to the stimulus well enough that you have physical reactions to certain things. I “flew” the wrong way at one point and went right through a building. Just before, though, I braced myself for the impact. I felt like a loon.
We were all hungry, and I was craving ramen, so we consulted the Googs for a place with vegan ramen and walked there. (I love Brooklyn.)
I don’t know what the trees are that drop tiny yellow leaves all over the sidewalks in Park Slope, but I love them. It’s so beautiful.
On the way, we passed one of those mini lending libraries that are getting so popular across the US. Seattle was full of them, and Molly said she passes them all the time here, but this was the first I’d spotted in NYC.
Ten-Ichi was the ramen place, and it definitely hit the spot. Our first priority of course was hot sake.
There’s really nothing quite as good as hot sake on a chilly day. And because of the rain, we were still feeling a bit chilly.
I’d been feeling all day like I was coming down with something, so I got their spiciest ramen, the Rayu Beef ramen.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t spicy. Like…at all. But it was delicious all the same, and that soft-boiled egg was perfect.
Molly got the veggie ramen (the noodles at Ten-Ichi aren’t vegan, but their veggie ramen is, so they served it to Molly with rice).
And Sean decided to get two appetizers: a vegetarian fried spring roll & a veggie bun.
On our way to gelato, it started raining again! We got caught in a second torrential downpour! And it wasn’t until the moment the skies opened up that we realized…not one of us thought to bring an umbrella. Again.
When we reached the gelato place, before we could order, the girl behind the counter said, “I’m sorry. I’m trying not to laugh.” And Molly said, “Oh, please be our guest. We’ve been laughing the entire time.”
We got back to the apartment with soup for Shannon (who was also feeling a little under the weather) and she looked at us and was like “Are you kidding? Twice?”
So we turned on Westworld and tried to dry out before bed.
Dying of laughter as we realized that, despite our earlier experience, we still hadn’t thought to bring an umbrella to dinner.
Listening to: ***
*There are two Smorgasburgs: one in Prospect Park & one in Williamsburg on the water. Sean and Molly advised that the Williamsburg version sells out of food very quickly every week, while the Prospect Park version is not quite as mobbed yet. Plus, you get to be in Prospect, which is the prettiest park in all the land.
**I’m not counting all the walking in NYC as hiking. I probably should, in retrospect, since we’re doing an average of 8mi per day. But I didn’t, so I’m not going to start.
***I don’t like wearing headphones in NYC, I’ve discovered. One of my favorite things to do is take a walk while listening to music. But I’m so enamored of the sounds of the city, that I feel like I don’t need music. Maybe that would change if I spent more time here.